If we had a dollar – even a nickel – every time we were asked variations of this question, we’d be very rich people indeed. It’s usually put to us by skincare sceptics who follow up with: skin is just skin, right? And technically, yes, we suppose it is. Your skin covers your entire body and all of it needs moisturization. And if that’s all you’re looking for from your skincare plan, then get your hands on a fragrance-free super-moisturizer that’s high in hyaluronic acid and go nuts with it. All over your face and body.
But the thing is, not all skin is created equal, so it’s not quite as simple as that.
Similar to the fact that your skin is totally unlike the next person’s, the skin around your eyes could not be more different to the skin on, let’s say, your knees. It’s thinner, more sensitive and permanently exposed to environmental aggressors, whereas the skin on your knees is generally protected against the elements, but it’s drier and subject to pulling and stretching thousands of times a day as you stand, sit and walk around.
It figures, therefore, that if you want a more targeted approach to your skincare, you need to recognize how your skin varies and deal with the issues each body part is subjected to.
Makes sense, right? Then here we go…
Skin Facts: Your face has a high concentration of sweat and oil glands, which means it heals quickly and is pretty tolerant of injury. Far more, in fact, than the skin on your neck and chest. It does, however, have a thinner layer of subcutaneous fat than the skin on your body (excluding your chest area), so while it’s pretty sturdy, it requires a lot of T.L.C. to keep those wrinkles at bay. Two more words for you: the sun.
While the skin on most of your body is covered by clothes on a daily basis, your face is pretty much always exposed to environmental pollution. This seriously interferes with collagen and elastin production which causes the internal support network of your skin to break down, meaning it’s a big ‘hello’ to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. Joy to the world.
Skin Needs: The type, brand and feel of your moisturizer totally depends on your skin type and how much moisturization you (or more importantly your derm) feels you need. Facial skin can tolerate potentially irritating ingredients like retinoids and hydroxy acids more than the skin on your neck and even your hands. Good news, since its subjected to such a constant barrage of environmental assaults, right? This means that incorporating extra treatments with medical-grade, effective ingredients into your daily and nighttime skincare plan is vital. For the day, look for serums containing effective antioxidants like l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to combat free radicals and provide extra protection from the sun, and ALWAYS apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen over the top of your moisturizer. And at night? Make retinol your new BFF.
Skin Facts: The skin around the eyes is thin, fragile and prone to dryness meaning it ages swiftly and totally gives the game away when you’re tired. It also gets a pretty vigorous, daily workout because it’s subject to squinting, frowning and constant movement from muscles all over the face, which work like a finely-tuned army to exacerbate crepiness, fine lines and wrinkles. Your eye area is also often left to its own devices with it comes to protection from the sun. And we all know the sun is one of, if not ‘the’ biggest skin saboteur when it comes to aging.
Skin Needs: Because the skin around the eyes is generally dryer than on the rest of the face, it requires extra moisturization. This is why your eye cream often contains more oil, and feels richer and thicker than your daily moisturizer. The eye area is also prone to the likes of dark circles and puffiness, which need specific attention and targeted ingredients that you would never need in a neck cream, for example. If you have no complaints about the skin around your eyes and you use a gentle, non-irritating face cream then yes, you could apply this to the eye area too. But c’mon now, who’s that perfect?
Product To Try: Neova Illuminating Eye Therapy 4.0, a gem for reducing the appearance of puffiness and under-eye dark circles, while simultaneously nourishing and hydrating the skin.
Skin Facts: Similar to the skin around your eyes, the skin on your neck has fewer oil glands than your face, so also requires extra moisturization. If you have dry skin and use a rich moisturizer every day, you can definitely get away with applying this on your neck as well as your face, but if you have oily or even combination skin, the chances are your moisturizer won’t be enough to hydrate and nourish this area.
Skin Needs: Because the neck and chest are neglected in many people’s skincare regimes – yes, even by the most ardent beauty fanatics – they are more exposed to the sun than your face and show damage much sooner. Contrary to marketing hype, however, there are no special miracle ingredients that are better for treating aging on the neck and nothing will ever provide you with the results of a neck lift. That being said, if it needs extra moisturization and you’re noticing more signs of aging than on your face, there’s nothing wrong with upping the ante with a clinically-proven neck cream containing skin-enhancing ingredients like antioxidants, ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
Product To Try: Revision Skincare Nectifirm, which contains palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 to help the skin on the neck appear firmer and more lifted.
Skin Facts: The skin on the most part of your hands contains no hair follicles and has a very thin layer of fat, which makes it very susceptible to dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. Add to this the fact that your hands, like your face, are exposed to the environment on a daily basis, yet they rarely get doused in SPF, means they have no chance in the battle against aging. In fact, most derms experience more patients with sun damage on their hands than on their faces. Scary, right?
Skin Needs: Washing your hands disturbs the protective hydrolipidic film that sits on the epidermis, which makes the skin feel dry and sensitive. This is why a hand cream’s main function is to act like a barrier to protect the skin from constantly being soaked in water, and why they contain high percentages of waxes or oils. But a hand cream can be so much more than that if you’re looking to address sun damage, discoloration and other visible signs of aging like slack skin and prominent veins.
Product To Try: Jan Marini Luminate Hand Cream, a super-charged hand cream containing retinol, glycerin and alpha-arbutin to improve texture, reduce the appearance of brown spots and help hydrate the skin.
Written by: Georgia Gould